Bleh; the new list settings are CONFUSING! Reply forwarded below:
On 26 August 2012 13:16, Thomas Morton <morton.thomas(a)googlemail.com> wrote:
On 26 August 2012 02:32, Edward Saperia
Ah, the downside of doing your work open and in
public is that people see
a half finished doodle of a budget and get overexcited and you come back to
45 emails in your inbox...
Yes indeed; and it was posted to the worst list possible :(
Yes, it's likely that the Wikimania 2014 London Bid Committee is going to
be applying for a grant to help it put together a good bid, but we're still
figuring out which roles are required and waiting for other inputs, so the
numbers were really just placeholders for now.
The deeper question I see here is - what sort of
event does the community
want Wikimania to be? It's a conference that is really beginning to come of
age, and with this comes growing pains. From a 200 person glorified pubmeet
it's become a five day long 1000+ person multi-track affair with all the
attendant expectations on AV, travel logistics, social events, catering,
multi-tiered accommodation... and unless it's not handled well, potentially
a very frustrating experience for a lot of wikimedians who have invested
their time and money travelling to take part.
I've tried ot cover some of this on the CC's meeting page. I am just
heading out the door so this addition might be a bit rough...
As I noted we need professionalism to cover infrastructure - the unseen
things that always get complained about when they don't quite work right
(although; professional approaches often fail here too - been to lots of
bigwig conferences where the wifi is cruddy). More than anything these
things need attention to detail (which is why hiring a media company or PCO
etc. is not a good approach).
As we have a staff infrastructure in London as it is we should build upon
this to meet our organisational needs, it will be cheaper.
With the correct facilitating software, a lot of
people have been able to
collaborate together to build a killer encyclopaedia. Similarly, a well
designed conference can allow for positive interactions between a very
large number of people. As the size increases, the complexity increases,
the risk increases, and the cost increases - but so do the possible
Let us be clear: running an event this size is not cheap. A Wikimania
costs hundreds of thousands of pounds, and probably significantly more in a
place like London. Tickets to your average<http://www.websummit.net/get-tickets/>
a similar size and scope would easily
cost £1000+ per delegate, and in
comparison a Wikimania is basically free. This means that we need to do a
lot more work fundraising, which takes a lot of time and planning, and a
chief concern of potential sponsors is whether the event will be delivered
to a professional standard. We are finding that a lot of the groundwork for
the event has to be laid well before the bid process even starts. Not to
sound patronising, but event organisation is different to wiki editing;
there are deadlines which must be met, and mistakes that cannot be reverted.
So let us ask ourselves, why should the community
spend so much donor
money on Wikimania (bids)? What is Wikimania there to achieve?
WMF's policy on grants:
Grant requests should support the achievement of
Wikimedia's mission and
strategic priorities. We favor high impact requests over low impact
requests; try to break new ground, and to increase your group's capacity
for new programs and partnerships.
Holding such a conference is high impact, breaks new ground, and fosters
links to local
relationships with sponsors
It's fantastic for encouraging
the press it should be great for increasing awareness
It seems as good a thing to invest in as any - after all, if it didn't
have community support, a thousand people probably wouldn't show up to it
This is the one thing I've disagreed with on your approach so far. I've
not really said much because you are getting up and doing something, which
is more than anyone else. And not to be discouraged!
But the focus of the event should be Wikipedians. Awareness and press is
nice, but we get a lot of that anyway - and we don't necessarily want it
focusing on US (i.e. the volunteers) rather than the project.
(the one caveat to that is that I think we should pursue plans to hold big
"come edit Wikipedia" sessions during Wikimania for newbies etc. like
editathons/training on a MASSIVE scale).
The other things you mention are cool, but secondary to providing a
friendly, safe, conference for Wikipedians to get together.